Last Updated: August 8, 2019
Welcome to Patch! Although you may be tempted to skim over some of this—indeed, there is some “legalese” involved—we hope you’ll read it through. We’ll do our best to help you understand everything so you can feel good about using and contributing to Patch.
Use of the Service
In order to comprehensively cover your community, the Service contains information on businesses, establishments, public services and other third parties, as well as news, feature stories, images, video, audio and other materials. The Service may provide you with other ways to access and use such information and materials—for instance, we give you the option to receive our emails and bookmark our items in other social networking services. We try to ensure everything passes muster, but Patch makes no guarantee that any information provided or accessed on or through the Service is accurate, current or complete. Your use of the information we provide or that you obtain on or through the Service is at your own risk. If you think something looks fishy, please let us know. You agree that you will not hold Patch liable for any inaccurate, incomplete, outdated or missing information provided on or through the Service.
We want everyone to enjoy Patch, so you may use some parts of the Service without registration (i.e., without signing up with a name, email address and password). If you wish, you can register for a “read-only” Patch profile account. A “read-only” account does not allow you to post on the Service or use some other parts of the Service, but it does let you tell us a bit about yourself – your name and email address – and it lets you “pick your Patch” so that we can show your local news on the homepage when you are signed in. If you want to post on the Service, or access or use some other parts of the Service, you will need to register for a “verified” Patch profile account, which requires verification, through Facebook or some other specified means, that you are who you say you are. You can also change your “read-only” profile to a verified profile by verifying your identity. We strongly encourage you to use your real name and current "hometown" – that way, your neighbors can get to know you, and we require that you provide your own, valid email address when you register, whether for a "read-only” account or a verified account.
Whatever type of account you choose, remember that your account is for your sole, personal use. You may not allow others to use your account and you may not assign or otherwise transfer your account to any other person or entity. If someone else wants an account, they can easily sign up themselves. You are responsible for the security of your password and will be solely liable for any use or unauthorized use of your account or otherwise under such password. Therefore, if you share a computer with others or want to help make your account more secure, don’t allow your Internet browser or any other service or technology to automatically save your password. If you do allow your password to be saved, it may be saved for up to sixty (60) days before you need to sign in again. Also, don’t write your password on a Post-It note and leave it on your desk for all to see – but you knew that!
Your License to Patch
While we encourage you, to be honest and post what’s on your mind, communities thrive when people care about each other, and as such, Patch expects all of its users to be respectful of others. This means that whether you are being complimentary or critical, whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with the subject of an article or another user’s comment, you should act in a civil manner and refrain from personal attacks – after all, these are your neighbors.
Because Patch provides a platform for wide-ranging commentary – both positive and negative – by members of local communities, you should keep in mind that, even if you disagree with or object to a comment or review, Patch typically does not remove comments or reviews in response to requests from users. Patch’s role is not to arbitrate disagreements between community members and local businesses, or among community members. And (for the lawyers out there) the law doesn’t require us to perform that role in order to keep offering what we think is a valuable community service: providing a platform for community discussion, debate and expression of opinions on the topics at hand.
By using the Service, you agree that you will not hold Patch responsible or liable for any content or information from other users that you access on or through the Service.
You are solely responsible for Your Content that you post on the Service or transmit to other users. Without limitation, you agree that Your Content that you post or transmit to other users using the Service will not include any content that:
- is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane or offensive;
- infringes or violates another party's intellectual property rights (such as music, videos, photos or other materials that you do not own, or for which you do not have written consent from the owner of such materials to post on the Service);
- violates anyone’s right of publicity or right of privacy;
- is threatening or harassing, or that promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual;
- promotes or encourages violence;
- is inaccurate, false or misleading in any way;
- is illegal or promotes any illegal activities;
- promotes illegal or unauthorized copying of another person's copyrighted work or links to sites that do so, or provides information to circumvent security measures;
- contains “masked” profanity (e.g., F@&#)
- contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or
- contains, or includes links to, any “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation not specifically allowed on the Service.
You might want to boil it down to three main principles: “Keep it clean,” “Don’t try to trick or steal from people,” and “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Easy, right?
Variety is the spice of digital life, so understand that when using the Service, you will be exposed to content and communications from a variety of sources, and that Patch is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to any such content. And, just like when you visit any website, by using Patch you acknowledge that you may be exposed to content that is inaccurate or that you find to be offensive, indecent or objectionable. If you object to this possibility, you should not use the Service.
Local Deals, Local Directory, Classifieds and Promoted Events
As much as we love a good haggle, we stay out of transactions in our local deals and classifieds and events posted on our calendar. Patch does not control the content of classifieds or event promotions, or any other content posted by users of the Service, nor do we guarantee the accuracy or quality of their content. Transactions are solely between buyers and sellers, and Patch does not review or confirm local deals or classifieds offered on the Service, or review or confirm any events posted on the calendar. You agree that any dispute between you (as the buyer or seller of any item or poster of or attendee at an event) and another party with whom you interact as a result of or in connection with any local deal, classified or calendar event does not involve Patch, and you hereby release Patch from any claims, and agree to indemnify Patch from any claims, based on or resulting from your, or anyone else’s, acts or omissions in connection with local deals, classifieds or events. So, play nice and leave us out of your transactions.
Many laws and regulations in various jurisdictions regulate the types of goods and services bought, sold, or exchanged in those jurisdictions, as well as the manner in which they are bought, sold, or exchanged. If you post a classified or event on Patch, you are responsible for complying with such laws and regulations. And, you wouldn’t want to be a law-breaker, now, would you?
Below for your convenience is a partial list of prohibited items and services – that is, items and services that you may not sell, buy or exchange through the Service, because they are against the law and/or against Patch policies:
- Obscene material or pornography.
- Offers or solicitation of illegal prostitution.
- Adult products or services.
- Weapons, explosives, fireworks or related items.
- Controlled substances, illegal drugs and recreational drugs; substances and items used to manufacture controlled substances; drug paraphernalia.
- Prescription drugs or medical devices.
- Tobacco products and paraphernalia; electronic cigarettes.
- Unsafe supplements, e.g., anabolic steroids, human growth hormones and other supplements as determined by Patch in its discretion.
- Alcoholic beverages; kits and other products for making alcohol.
- Blood, bodily fluids, or body parts.
- Pets, livestock or other live animals.
- Animal pelts, skin, fur or other animal parts.
- Restricted or regulated plants and insects.
- Pesticides or other hazardous substances.
- Online gambling; online casinos; bingo, poker or other “real money” gambling services.
- Illegal telecommunications equipment, e.g. jailbroken or loaded devices, “jamming” devices, wiretapping devices.
- Stolen property; property with serial number removed or altered; burglary tools.
- False identification cards, items with police insignia, citizenship documents, or birth certificates.
- Real, virtual or fake currency, e.g., active bank or credit cards, cryptocurrency, cash or cash equivalent items.
- Counterfeit currency, coins and stamps, tickets, as well as equipment designed to make them.
- Material that infringes copyright, trademark or any other proprietary right.
- Subscriptions or other digital products, e.g., digital accounts and downloadable content.
- Bulk email or mailing lists that contain names, addresses, phone numbers, or other personal identifying information.
- Deceptive, misleading or offensive offers or products.
Of course, Patch also prohibits classifieds and other content that wrongfully discriminate. This means that your housing, employment and other classifieds should not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, citizenship, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or marital status, disability or any medical or genetic condition.
Remember, folks: you can never be too careful with your money – or yourself. Watch out for scams, and take common sense precautions just as you would in any situation.Here are some suggested basic safety precautions that may help keep you safe:
- Meet the seller/buyer in person.
- Meet them in a public place or bring a friend.
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going.
- Examine the item before you buy.
- Keep payment simple. Never wire funds or accept cashier or certified checks or money orders.
- Limit sharing of personal or financial information.
- If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Termination of Access
In order to provide you with as much relevant information as possible, the Service may contain links to other websites not provided by us. The links may include listings that provide you with further information, or links that have been included in materials uploaded to the Service by a party other than Patch. Be aware when you leave our Service and read the terms and conditions and privacy statements of each and every website you visit, even if they are not as charming as ours. We are not responsible for the practices or the content of such other websites or services. Despite any links that might exist on the Service, we do not endorse and are not affiliated with such third parties.
Our Proprietary Rights
Lawyers will definitely love this section, but everyone should pay attention: THE SERVICE, INCLUDING ALL CONTENT AND MATERIALS MADE AVAILABLE ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE SERVICE, IS PROVIDED “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE.” WE MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER FOR OR WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, CONTENT ON THE SERVICE. FURTHER, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY LAW, WE DISCLAIM ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTIONS CONTAINED IN THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS OR CONTENT CONTAINED THEREIN WILL BE COMPLETELY SECURE, UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE SERVICE OR THE SERVER THAT MAKES IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS. WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR THE USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE SERVICE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE CONTENT AND ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED THEREIN. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, IN NO EVENT WILL WE BE LIABLE UNDER ANY THEORY OF TORT, CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR OTHER CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS, LOST DATA, LOST OPPORTUNITIES, COSTS OF COVER, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE, PERSONAL INJURY/WRONGFUL DEATH, EACH OF WHICH YOU HEREBY AGREE IS EXCLUDED. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, “WE” AND “OUR” INCLUDES PATCH AND PATCH’S EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, MEMBERS, CONTRACTORS, BUSINESS PARTNERS, AGENTS, LICENSEES AND LICENSORS. (Sorry to yell at you.) Back to our inside voice: If any part of these warranty disclaimers or limitations of liability is found to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, or if we are otherwise found to be liable to you in any manner, then our aggregate liability for all claims under such circumstances for any and all liabilities shall not exceed the lesser of (a) the amount paid by you for your use of the Service during the prior twelve (12) months; or (b) ten dollars ($10).
Agreement to Arbitrate
To begin an arbitration proceeding, the party seeking arbitration must provide written notice to the other party, requesting arbitration and describing the dispute, the nature of the claim and the relief being sought, at least sixty (60) days before initiating arbitration. Any notice to Patch should be sent by mail to Legal Disputes, 134 W. 29th Street, 11th Floor New York, NY 10001, and must include your name, residence address, username, email address or phone number you use for your Patch account, as well as the information described above. Any notice to you will be sent to your email address and/or street address, if any, in Patch records at the time the notice is sent. If we are not able to resolve the dispute within sixty (60) days of notice, either party will have the right to seek arbitration as provided below.
Payment of all filing, administration and arbitrator fees will be governed by the AAA's rules. We will reimburse those fees for claims totaling less than $10,000, unless the arbitrator determines your claims are frivolous. Likewise, we will not seek attorney’s fees and costs in arbitration unless the arbitrator determines your claims are frivolous. You may choose to have the arbitration conducted by telephone, based on written submissions, or in person in the county where you live or at another mutually agreed location.
WE EACH AGREE THAT ANY DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEEDINGS WILL BE CONDUCTED ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT IN A CLASS, CONSOLIDATED OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION. If the class action waiver is found to be unenforceable as to all or part of any dispute, such part(s) will be severed and the remaining part(s) will proceed in arbitration. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than in arbitration we each waive any right to a jury trial. And, notwithstanding the foregoing, we will each have the right to bring suit in court to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights.
If any part of this agreement to arbitrate is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unenforceable, the court will reform the agreement to the extent necessary to cure such unenforceability, and the parties will arbitrate the dispute(s) without reference to or relying on the unenforceable part(s).
Any claim asserted by you in connection with the Service must be asserted in writing to Patch within one (1) year of the date such claim first arose, or such claim is forever waived by you.
Reporting Claims of Copyright Infringement - Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Notice
We don’t control what other people post on the Service. Although we are under no obligation to review or scan content available on or in connection with the Service for the inclusion of illegal or impermissible content or for any other reason, we respect the copyright interests of others, and it is our policy not to permit materials that we know to infringe another party’s copyright to remain on the Service and, in appropriate circumstances, to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers. If you believe any materials on the Service infringe a copyright, you should provide us with written notice that, at minimum, contains:
- A physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
- Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed or, if multiple copyrighted works on the Service are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works;
- Identification of the content or material on the Service that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information, e.g., a link and screenshot, reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the content or material;
- Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address, at which the complaining party may be contacted;
- A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the content or material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by law; and
- A statement that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is the copyright owner or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
Please let us know about copyright issues by sending all such notices to our designated agent as follows: by mail to: Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media Attn: Copyright Officer, 134 W 29th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001; or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
By accessing or using the Service, registering, sending an email or otherwise communicating with Patch through the Service, you are communicating with Patch electronically, and you agree to receive electronic communication from Patch, by email and by posting to the Site. You agree that any electronic communication from Patch satisfies any legal requirements that such communication must be in writing. You also agree that any communications or materials that you provide to Patch or the Service, including, without limitation, by posting to the Service, email or otherwise, are and will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary.